The High Pay Centre says chief executives among the top 100 firms listed on the London Stock Exchange enjoyed a median average 10% pay rise last year while only a quarter of FTSE 100 firms pay the living wage,
The comparable wage of the average Briton is £27,600 and the average pay rise last year was 2%.
The report will be closely scrutinised by new Prime Minister Theresa May who promised to crack down on excessive as part of review of corporate governance. Mrs May wants shareholder votes on pay to be binding.
Stefan Stern, director of the High Pay Centre, said: “There is apparently no end yet in sight to the rise and rise of FTSE 100 chief executive pay packages. In spite of the occasional flurry from more active shareholders, boards continue to award ever larger amounts of pay to their most senior executives.”
Prime Minister’s interest in tackling soaring pay packets for executives was a welcome move, he said.
“In particular, we support two of [the prime minister’s] main proposals: that companies should be obliged to publish the ratio between the pay of the chief executive and the average worker in the business; and that the voice of the ordinary employee must be heard in discussions over executive pay,” he said.
Mrs May’s early intervention follows a series of shareholder rebellions at a number of blue chip firms including the advertising agency WPP and the oil company BP whose boss Bob Dudley (pictured) was forced to defend his £14m pay packet in a year of falling profits.
Standard Life chief executive Keith Skeoch voluntarily forfeited a proportion of his bonus ahead of the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell was the highest rewarded last year, picking up a pay and bonus package worth more than £70m. In June, 34.2% of WPP investors failed to back Sir Martin’s pay.
The ten highest-paid company bosses earned £200million between them. There were no women in the top 10 highest paid chief executives, said the report.